- 3 cups semolina
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tbs powdered milk
- 1 cup ghee butter ( samneh)
- 1/2 tsp ground mahlab ( rock cherry)
- 2 tsp ground anise seeds
- 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
- 2 tbs orange blossom water
- 1 tbs active dry yeast
- 1 tbs sugar
- 1/4 cup Luke warm water
- 2 cups dates paste
- 1 tbs butter melted
- In a big bowl add in semolina, flour, ground anise seeds, ground mahlab , ground fennel seeds and the ghee butter. Mix with clean washed hands until all the ghee absorbs. Cover the bowl and Set aside for half an hour or until the next day.
- In a small bowl add in the yeast, 1 tbs of sugar and the water. Mix and set aside until frothy.
- To the semolina mixture add, the 1/2 cup of sugar, powdered milk, orange blossom water and the yeast mixture. Mix to obtain a soft dough. You can add more warm water if the dough is dry.
- Cover the bowl and let rest for half an hour.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling, by mixing the dates paste with the butter and set aside.
- Prepare a big cookie sheet to bake the bars.
- Divide dough in half, and roll out the first half in between two parchment papers or plastic sheets. Roll out into the size of the cookie sheet.
- Take off the top parchment paper and transfer the dough to the baking sheet to form the first layer. Press the dough down with your hands to make it even.
- In between a nother two sheets of parchement papers roll out the dates paste into the size of the cookie sheet.
- Take of the top piece of the parchement paper and transfer the dates paste to the cookie sheet to make the second layer of the bars.
- Using the first two parchement paper again to do the same thing with the rest of the dough .
- Press down the third layer gently with you hands, to even the top layer up.
- With a knife, cut the dough into equal squares. And decorate with any design you like.
- Cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minute.
- Meanwhile preaheat oven to 350F.
- Bake the bars in the middle rack of the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until golden in color.
- Let rest and then with the knife go over the lines again to cut the bars.